South Asian Flavors on One Aromatic Block

Chowhounds can’t stop talking about Southern Spice, a recent Indian find in Flushing. As the name suggests, the menu skews southern; the owner’s from Chennai and also runs Madras Cafe in Manhattan. But dishes from all over India are winning raves.

“Good God, this place is amazing,” declares NYJewboy, who singles out a deep, rich, and gingery chana masala that blew away the version at his former favorite, Chola. bruce3404, who found no better food on two trips to India, loves the Punjabi-style dal makhani.

Among the southern dishes, chapa pulusu (kingfish curry), Chennai shrimp, and Hyderabad-style chicken dhum biryani are standouts, as well as kodi rasam, an alluring, peppery chicken soup (“I believe I could eat that three times a day,” bruce says).

Across the street from Southern Spice, Polecat reminds us, is another hound-worthy destination, the Sri Lankan restaurant Bownie. Try the fish curry or cheap, spicy kulti roti (flatbread mashed with vegetables and meat). “It’s one of the most overlooked joints on this board,” he adds. “The interior has all the charm of a car service vestibule. But I’ll be damned if it isn’t one of my favorite eateries in the whole city.”

Southern Spice [Flushing]
143-06 45th Avenue (between Bowne and Smart streets), Flushing, Queens
718-349-3586

Bownie [Flushing]
143-05 45th Avenue (between Bowne and Smart streets), Flushing, Queens
718-463-8621

Board Links: Great Indian Queens
Southern Spice Buffet